Our latest survey of consulting business owners found that 65% would like to be spending more time on strategy, but only 10% spend time on it in a typical month. According to our growth experts, an important way for owners of consulting businesses to close this gap is by developing a strategic, structured and systematic approach to accelerating their team’s development. This generates sustainable and growing returns from client delivery, while enabling you, the owner, to focus on developing your strategy to build a high-performance consulting business.
We invited Deri Hughes, founder of Honeycomb PS, to give us his insights on the significant returns you can achieve by appropriately developing your team. Deri’s webinar was interactive and enabled attendees to assess themselves against best practice in areas such as setting expectations with their team, mapping expectations to their strategy, and how consistently and effectively they provide developmental feedback.
We have outlined below a few samples of what Deri shared with our members during his session.
Deri looked at both the impact of effectively leveraging your team’s capability and the right approach to doing this. The webinar highlighted three key areas of impact.
- Reducing the business owner’s utilization on client delivery in turn freeing time for business strategy.
- Meeting team’s demand for learning and development opportunities.
- Driving profit and growth.
Deri was able to tie his theory with the findings of our latest BenchPress survey to emphasise through examples the potential exponential growth in profit margin from successfully driving professional development.
How to accelerate skills development
Deri also discussed the importance of consulting business owners developing the right systems, processes and behaviors to enable their team’s skill mastery. As part of this, he identified four steps of best practice.
- Firm priorities – identifying the capabilities that are most important to achieving your business strategy.
- Skill expectations – setting out clearly defined expectations for what good means for your firm.
- Assessment model – developing a model that enables the team to clearly benchmark themselves against expectations and for gathering regular feedback.
- Training syllabus – structured training and self-directed learning syllabuses to close skill gaps.
The webinar provided detail and examples from Deri of best practices and templates that can form an effective part of each step.
An effective training syllabus
With respect to developing a training syllabus, Deri provided an overview of three crucial elements of an effective program.
- Project allocations to provide the right blend of work experience across difference projects.
- The approach to structuring interactions and coaching with mentors throughout each project.
- Formal training, which includes trainer-led and self-directed learning.
Deri went into detail on how critical formal training is, tying it back to your skill gaps and developing a set of training programs that you want to implement. He gave an example of a training syllabus and an outline of an approach to enabling self-directed learning. He concluded this section by discussing a self-assessment of attendees’ current training syllabus.
As with all our webinars, there was a lot of participation from attendees. The full recording of Deri’s insightful session, along with recordings of all our events, is available to all members of The Consultancy Growth Network.
Article | People and talent
Ali El Moghraby
Head of Marketing
The Consultancy Growth Network